Over to the DJ, news that Cod special fave Modernist Cuisine has a few bugs in the system. Nathan Myrhvold, seen at left giving a TED talk on the subject of this one barista back home* checked in like this:
“We had many copy editors and proofreaders to help us pore over the book, but after the nth reading, you become blind to any further errors,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, the enormous demand for MC and the unexpected delays in shipping the books to customers meant that we had very little time, with very few readers, to find errors."
"That’s not to say that we have now corrected every last error, however. Indeed, in the days since the presses started running again, we, Larry, and other readers have identified a few more mistakes. If and when we undertake a third printing, we’ll correct those, too. In the meantime, we are making available here a list of corrections and clarifications for the first printing. We’ll update this list whenever new goofs are spotted. It’s available in PDF format as well, in case you want to print it out or have a handy searchable version on your computer. If you spot a mistake in your copy that isn’t already mentioned here, please send it in."
The Cod knows all too well that it sucks when your book gets fucked up in production. (Authors should emulate hoboes, and make chalkmarks outside of presses that have version control management issues, or who won't promote your book at conferences, or... but I digress.) But! Charging folks six bills plus for a cookbook, and then enlisting them as your beta testers, sounds like an idea that only a software engineer could dream up. Oh, right.
The Amazon reviews are still overwhelmingly favorable -- if you had paid for it, it would be hard to admit to yourself that it was not quite the thing, but more surprising to the Cod is that the proliferation of errors are further testimony to the awesome grandeur of the book:
At times the errata read like science fiction –- fleeting glimpses into the world of “beet flexicurd,” “halibut cheek gel base” and “scallop mochi.” It’s a place where oysters, before they meet their demise, are fed sieved beet juice (and the juice should be strained through a 25 micron sieve, not a 500-micron one).
Also, the testers are drinking the Kool-aid through a relatively coarse sieve:
“When I read through the errata, part of what I’m realizing is 80 to 90 percent is rinky-dink stuff that has to do with a dropped ‘S’ for a verb or something like that,” Mr. Amirault said. “And then occasionally there are meaningful things, like a dropped decimal. You’re dealing with a cooking that really values precision and includes really small amounts of some ingredients. When you get to that level, you need to be really precise, and a missed decimal makes a difference.”
First, subject-verb agreements is rinky-dink? For athletes on Twitter, maybe, but in a, you know, book, subject-verb argreement are important. Also, "when you are dealing with a (sic) cooking that really values precision," you need to be precise in a cookbook about that cooking. Ask Julia Child and Judith Jones.
At the day job, The Cod is in the early stages of working on a project to help engineers write gooder, and wishes he'd gotten started sooner. Also, I cannot resist pointing out that a proliferation of errors, involving rinky dink verbs, as well as important shit like decimals, is not surprising for a cookbook that betrays its blithe disregard for language in the first word of its title.
I leave you with the Jigga: